An Interview with the Good Badger team — #ETHBerlin Hackathon Winners


Earlier this month, some of the team headed to Berlin to participate in one of the most notorious hackathons of the year — ETHBerlin. 65 teams were given 48 hours to create an application to run on Ethereum, with the top ten awarded the Open Bounty prize.

The team created ‘Good-Badger’ an app that gamifies the UN Sustainable Development Goals by tokenizing people’s contributions and achievements.

The team returned to the office a week later blurry-eyed but full of inspiration and enthusiasm. Along with their suitcase of t-shirts and stickers, they shared the fantastic news that they were crowned one of the ten event winners!

We caught up with Cedric Franz, Nic Vercuiel and Donovan Risk about the highlights and learnings from their experience.

Tell us a bit about the idea behind Good-Badger?

C: We were looking at a way to gamify the work that people are doing towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We had the idea of creating badges, much in the same way that the Garmin and Apple Fitness apps reward people with badges for their exercise. By using ERC721 non-fungible tokens these badges can be certified using cryptography and used for a variety of derivatives like giveaway items, discounts in shops etc.

Donovan, Cedric and Nic — Team Good-Badger at the start line raring to go

Did you have any hairy (no pun intended) moments during the hack?

C: We struggled a little to get the SVG images to generate off a hash in a way that would work on both web and mobile.

N: We often had to reassess what we were planning to make it fit into the small time frame we had. We wanted to integrate Web3 into our react native app, but it introduced some issues that would have made us miss the deadline.

What does the future hold for Good-Badger?

C: Although this app can be used for initiatives other than SDG work, we will be focussing on building out this platform so that any third party system can use it to reward people with badges and then users can “show off” these badges as credentials.

Which of the other team’s projects did you find most interesting?

C: I thought the ETHstonia Project project linking an Ethereum Wallet to the Estonia E-Residency card was very clever and could have immediate use.

D: That was my favourite project too. It was really impressive that they managed to implement all the elliptic curve cryptography in only 48 hours.

N: I liked the MyENS Wallet app. It makes it easy for you to buy an ENS and also creates a marketplace where you can sell and trade them.

What was the highlight of the event?

C: Just being there and meeting different people working on interesting projects.

N: Being exposed to some of the projects in the Ethereum world. Is is mindblowing to see the different use cases people come up with.

D: Seeing the community surrounding Ethereum and the various people with ideas that one would never think of.

Who was the most interesting contact you made at ETHBerlin?

N: I had a very interesting chat with Cornelius from Weeve about building a mobile enabled hardware wallet.

C: I had a really great conversation with the guys from Colony.

What did you think of Berlin?

C: Berlin is an amazing city. I would love to go back and explore further.

N: Really cool city! It is so diverse and rich in history and culture.

D: Very diverse and culturally intertwined. A great place to explore with amazing people to learn from.

What’s next for the development team?

C: We are building out our platform and we will be integrating with a number of companies based in Berlin to add new features. We will be going live before the end of 2018, so we have a lot of work to do.

Nic, Cedric and Donovan — And that’s a wrap! Almost no sleep for 48 hours but still smiling… and ready for a beer.

What was a key learning or takeout from this event?

C: Many people are working on cutting edge enhancements that will take time to materialize into some form of standard and getting to a standard is key for mainstream adoption. So these initiatives need to be supported.

D: A lot of research and discussion has been done into the field, but practically there is still a lot to learn about how to apply these technologies to everyday lives of users.

Do you have advice for anyone who is about to participate in a hackathon?

C: Pace yourself through the hackathon as your coding suffers when you get tired. Do the difficult bits first.

N: Make sure you are not too ambitious with your project. Rather get something simple working and add to it if you have time.

Thank you EthBerlin — see you next year!

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